Justice for Some: The Impact of Dunn v. Ray

We demand equal justice for all Americans under the law

February 15, 2019

On February 7, 2019, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to reject the request of Alabama inmate Domineque Ray, a Muslim, to be accompanied by an Imam during his execution by the state of Alabama. As Justice Elena Kagan notes in her dissent, Alabama state policy holds that “a Christian prisoner may have a minister of his own faith accompany him,” while a Muslim prisoner may not.

By ruling against Ray and failing to provide sufficient reasoning, the Supreme Court has codified a preference for treating Muslim inmates differently than others. In doing so, they failed to rule in favor of religious neutrality, and added to a now growing list of decisions which negatively impact American Muslim communities, like their decision last June to uphold the Muslim Ban.

Not only is it an established legal precedent that no religion is officially preferred over another, but it is a moral requirement of any just society. We condemn this decision for flying in the face of this demand to treat all citizens with equal fairness and dignity.


Founded in 1988, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) is a national nonprofit working to promote and strengthen American pluralism by increasing understanding and improving policies that impact American Muslims.



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